If you've read Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project, then you'll also enjoy The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan. Pretty much similar context, they both spend a year being more grateful and dedicated each month to a different thing. Her ideas fit in nicely with The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up which encouraged me to take a lot at how much shopping I do. She uses the examples of people lining up to buy new iphones because they think it will make them happy. One she did was stop complaining about the weather as it didn't change her day, but it changed how she experienced it. She even uses gratitude as a tool to lose weight! Favorite quotes from the book include the following.
"Grateful to learn that I don't need "stuff" to make me happy."
"Lucky to jump off the wanting-more treadmill."
"Material possessions are never quite as satisfying as we think they'll be. People get more lasting joy from experiences (such as vacations) than from objects."
"Enjoying an activity (such as dining out) that made you grateful also makes you less materialistic. So if you're trying to increase your gratitude, tilt toward experiential consumption."
"Materialism has been consistently related to lower levels of life satisfaction. The idea that stuff, stuff, and more stuff won't make us happy seems to be catching on."
"Gratitude to have enough. Not want 10% more (salary or closet space)."
"Spending on others makes you more satisfied than spending on yourself."
"If through gratitude, you create a positive mood, you reinforce the brain pathways that will then generate more positive feelings."
"You can never be happy if you waste time frustrated by circumstance you can't change."
"When we appreciate what we have, we are more likely to be satisfied and less likely to be unhappy."
"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not. Remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for."
"Look for a positive in every event, you can decide to feel joy.You're grateful for how you remember an experience rather than what actually happened."
"Any job has its good points and bad, but focusing on the negatives promises only a sour experience. Making an effort to zero in on the pleasures (however hard to find) can make most jobs tolerably sweet."
'Gratitude keeps us well because it is an antidote to stress. When you are grateful, all the signposts of stress, like anger anxiety, and worry, diminish. Gratitude lowers stress."
"As with your career, gratitude can motivate you in your weight and fitness. You can lose it easily. You've been that weight before, so you know you can do it."
"Dedicate five minutes of your day to believing you can lose weight and being thankful you can. Eliminate negative self-talk."
"Be grateful that you're strong, grateful that you can buy healthy food, grateful that it's gorgeous weather and you can take a walk."
"Taking a picture of your food to post on Instagram or Facebook makes you look at food as something special, that you are grateful with what you plan to eat."
"Often when think we want food, we're really hungry for friendship, love, compassion, and gratitude."